July 10, 2016 at 1:29 pm #16171
I have rarely read a blog with which I have agreed 100% . . . but this is one of them!
Why Christians Need to Stop Praying
JULY 6, 2016 / JOHN PAVLOVITZ
I‚Äôm so tired of Christian prayers.
I imagine God is too.
I‚Äôm quite certain the people we so readily say that we‚Äôre praying for are tired of them:
Praying for hungry people instead of skipping our second latte of the day and buying them lunch.
Praying for a friend¬†battling depression instead of sitting with them for a few minutes and really listening.
Praying for families of murdered black men instead of speaking directly into the institutionalized racism in law enforcement and the¬†darkness¬†of our own hearts.
Praying for victims of sexual assault instead of dealing with the misogyny, sexism, and pornography that devalue young women in the eyes of young men.
Praying for the LGBTQ community when they are terrorized instead of¬†demanding¬†that churches fully affirm their humanity and celebrate their inclusion.
Praying for innocent American Muslims who endure violence¬†instead of calling out¬†ignorant bigotry from our preachers and politicians that incubate hatred.
Praying for victims of another mass shooting instead of fully engaging in the battle for legislation that would make guns more difficult to purchase.
Stop praying already, Christian.
Stop tossing off hollow words to the ether when you‚Äôre standing on the bloody ground of a hurting world.
Stop being on the front lines of suffering and calling for some invisible backup you hope will come.
Stop acting as if so much of the terrible stuff passing in front of you is beyond you.
Stop feeling so¬†stinkin‚Äô¬†good about yourself for feeling bad.
Your compassion alone is useless. You need to get your hands dirty.
Praying for God to move and sitting still isn‚Äôt redemptive. It‚Äôs empty religion.
This is not about passing the buck to God.
This is about incarnating the love of God.
God has given you life and breath and gifts and resources and abundance, and if you stop hoarding them so much you may soon find that the space around you becomes less and less horrible.
If you dare to step outside of laziness and selfishness and apathy, you may find that you‚Äôre no longer content to just pray. You may feel burdened to become the answer to prayer.
And this is the measurement of your faith: the tangible fruit of patience,¬†kindnesses, and¬†goodness which¬†your life yields‚ÄĒnot the furrow of your brow or the clasping of your hands¬†when these things are absent.
God has given you here and now as the sacred space in which you get to reflect the character of Christ and alter the freakin‚Äô thing in glorious, beautiful ways. This is God‚Äôs reply to your¬†petitions.
If you stop asking God to do what God has already wired, commanded, and equipped you to do, your prayers will change. They won‚Äôt as often be delivered into the Heavens but into the mirror.
Christian, the boldest prayer you can utter in¬†these days, is the prayer that you begin to live more fully into the calling your faith has placed upon your life; the one that dares you to love and serve and give and sacrifice and mourn and give a far greater damn than you pretend that you do most of the time.
So many hungry, hurting, invisible, disregarded, brutalized people are not so, because God has yet to move but because the people of God are so reluctant to.
Pray less. Move more.
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